Well, it doesn’t come much more “straight from the horse’s mouth” than this. According to outgoing Microsoft head honcho Bill Gates, the upcoming Windows Vista operating system, Microsoft’s first since 2001’s Windows XP, has an 80% chance of shipping on time, but that he has no qualms about delaying the ship date if he feels that it would be best for the product. Vista has already been delayed several times, losing large numbers of features in the process (WinFS, etc.).
“We got to get this absolutely right,” Gates said. “If the feedback from the beta tests shows it is not ready for prime time, I’d be glad to delay it.”
While it’s nice to see Microsoft concerned about not releasing another lemon into the wild (*cough*Windows Me*wheeze*), the simple fact remains that Vista is losing momentum by the day. While many who have used it feel that there are some much-needed improvements in the operating system, many feel that Windows XP is good enough for what they need to do and see no reason to upgrade their machines to the newer, hungrier operating system. Another delay could effectively kill Vista’s momentum, which would turn the launch into a debacle if sales don’t meet expectations. On top of that, both Apple and Linux are gaining momentum on the desktop, with Linux’s XGL and Apple’s Quartz Extreme matching most everything that Windows Aero has to offer. Only time will tell what happens with Vista, but I wouldn’t count on a delay being anything but bad for the new OS.